Texan punk band with their sixth studio ‘Wolf You Feed’ album, could well be described by some as veterans. Good to hear more organic, dirty production courtesy of British engineer Stuart Sikes, apart from winning a Grammy after impressed with his work with bands like White Stripes and Cat Power.
I guess that is a good move for the quintet of frontman Mike Wiebe, guitarists Fadi el-Assad and Ian MacDougall, bassist Rob Marchant and drummer Sam Keir and the first on Xtra Mile Recordings. The sound is intense, well-crafted and diverse, without ever losing sight of the band’s true aim. That the band achieved their goal largely because they weren’t trying to make a record that fits into today’s musical landscape. ‘Wolf you Feed’ is far better for that.
Not to say this is a authentic punk rock album, as there is a healthy dose of rock n’ roll, recall if you will when old rock and punk mixed, hybrid offshoots are still firing today, but Riverboat Gamblers are comfortably straddling styles to good effect. the album features contributions from Mark Ryan (Marked Men, Mind Spiders) and Sean Kirkpatrick (The Paper Chase) each of whom help the band expand their sound even further.
From the opening track Good Veins’ you get that the sixth album marks more of a sea change, the album is from a time long gone, but it’s focus, intensity and relevancy is unquestionable. Into my forth listen ‘Bite My Tongue, track 2 its punk, catching and well played, a fair metaphor for the album. To stop a babbling listening of every track. I employ you to get this album and press the repeat button. ‘Gallows Bird’ alone wins the argument. Quite simply ‘Wolf You Feed’ by Riverboat Gamblers has blown me away. 9/10